Caleb Christensen commits to throw at CSC
Caleb Christensen has been throwing since he was an eighth-grade student at Guernsey-Sunrise school. He was an all-conference selection last year and hopes to be all-state this year. National Signing Day is traditionally the first day that a high school senior can sign a binding National Letter of Intent for a collegiate sport with a school that is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). On Dec. 21, Caleb Christiansen committed to throw for Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska. Seen at the signing table are Katrina Christensen, a student at Chadron State College, Jolyn Hillen, Guernsey-Sunrise athletic director, Caleb Christensen and Jeanette Christensen, Christensen’s throwing coach and mother.
GUERNSEY – The faculty and student body at Guernsey-Sunrise High School lovingly call him “Tree,” due to his size and strength, Caleb Christensen, a three-sport athlete who has dominated at the high school level in every sport he has played in, stands heads and tails above the rest of the student body.
Although he was born in the Torrington hospital, Christensen’s family has always lived in Guernsey and not only his older sister, Katrina, but Christensen as well spent their elementary, middle school and high school years at Guernsey-Sunrise schools.
Just a regular gangly kid who played on the playgrounds of Guernsey is the son of an avid outdoorsman, Matthew Christensen and Jeanette Christensen, a former Wyoming athlete who hailed from Pine Bluffs and was a state champion as a thrower.
“My mom has had a profound influence on my life,” Christensen said. “I think she still holds a few state records for throwing. She is a sports mentor for me, and I would not be where I am today without her. She has taught me so much.”
Christensen began throwing the shot put in eighth grade and by sophomore year in high school he was also throwing this discus.
By junior year, he was not only making a name for himself in track, but also in basketball where he was a team leader on defense and two-point shooting percentage. Senior year due to low numbers, Christensen went to Coach Curtis Cook and asked what the team needed.
As Cook told him that they needed bodies, Christensen played football as a senior and was one of the team leaders and an opposing force to be reckoned with on both the offensive and defensive line.
His love, though, remains track. At 6 feet, 6 inches tall and 220 pounds he says that he has been working on gaining more weight and throwing more distance. Most high school kids don’t develop their college bodies until after high school, but “Tree” resembles what they all call him. He is not a skinny 6-6 tall, but solid and a true wide-body.
“I hope to really improve this year on my throws, going for 50 feet in my shot throw,” Christensen said. “I would also love to improve in the discus. I went to throwing camp last summer in Buffalo and they had coaches there from the University of Wyoming and many other D1 and D2 schools. It helped me so much and I went from throwing the disc from 110 feet to 137 feet.”
Although there have been many schools looking to get him to their programs, Christensen said that it wasn’t until fall of this year that he was even considering participating in collegiate sports.
“I had schools interested from a long way east to a long way west of where we live and some schools in South Dakota and Nebraska,” Christensen said. “I really wanted to be close to home and not be at a place where I’d have to drive eight hours. My sister Katrina goes to Chadron State College and their coach was one of the ones who was interested in getting me to the next level.”
Chadron State College thrower coach Lizzie Virgl called to inquire as to whether Christensen was ready to make a decision as to participating in collegiate sports.
“She called and asked if I was ready to make a decision,” Christensen said. “I had seen the program and really like the college and facilities and after that conversation, I knew I was ready to pull the trigger and commit to Chadron.”
Although the school has not come through with a full scholarship yet, they have offered him an impressive academic package and Christensen is hoping that with his showing senior year, they will sweeten the pot to get commit to him as he has committed to them.
Chadron State College is a D2 school and can offer full-ride scholarships.
As far as playing other sports in college, Christensen that he is about 100% certain that he is not going to do anything but throw for the track team.
“I mean, I like playing football and basketball,” he said. “But I don’t love it enough to do it at college.”
As far as his academic career, Christensen is going to be a math education major and hopes to perhaps one day come back to Guernsey-Sunrise to teach and to coach.